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Appeal letter to Dr. Mahathir on Anwar Ibrahim PDF Print E-mail

September 18, 1998


His Excellency Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,
The Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Jalan Dato Onn, 50502 Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Assalamo-Alaikum. May Allah's blessings be always with you, your family and Malaysia. Your Excellency, I just returned to Dallas after attending the 35th Annual Convention of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), held in St. Louis, from September 4 - 7, 1998. During the Convention, the top leaders of ISNA and some prominent Muslim scholars from the Universities of New York and Washington, and others expressed a sense of pain and dismay at the recent dismissal of Datu Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. I also share a feeling of sadness at the turn of events in Malaysia. You know that I have a great admiration for you and your leadership, therefore, I am hopeful that you will give a serious consideration to my sincere appeal as follows:   

Your Excellency, it was the slaughter and ethnic cleansing of Muslims by Serbs in Bosnia that influenced me to take up the cause of Muslims trapped in oppressive situations around the world. However, it was the spiritual experience - triggered by watching the bravery of a few Chechens in the last two weeks of December 1994 - that transformed me to launch my one-man mission for Muslim Unity and the search for a Muslim leader. I am sure it must have been also a spiritual experience that compelled you to leave your medical practice and fight for Bumiputras. I feel Dr. Anwar is now motivated  by a similar spirit. 

Your Excellency, the financial crisis triggered in mid - July, 1997 mainly by the actions of currency speculators - led by George Soros - has crippled the economies of South East Asian countries. In Malaysia, you are trying your best to find creative ways to solve the  economic problems. I am sure the recent departure of Dr. Anwar from your side must have created additional worries for you. These are tough times for Malaysians and your leadership needs all the support of your countrymen and others. The critical question is not about your intentions and decisions concerning Dr. Anwar but their likely consequences. I hope you will keep in mind the sentiments of Anwar's supporters, and many Muslims in the world, particularly the north American Muslims who respect  you. 

In presence of Dato Hishammuddin Hussein, the Deputy Minister of Primary Industries of Malaysia, I spoke at the 2nd International Islamic Unity Conference (August 7-9, 1998) at Washington, and stated that the Muslim countries must unite and cooperate with each other and should learn  to stand on their own feet. By refusing to seek IMF's  money  and their dictation/slavery,  you have adopted the right and a dignified course for Malaysia - to stand on your own  feet. The introduction of capital controls is also an appropriate action. Recently the IMF, and even George Soros, has shown a shift in attitude to controls on capital movements, as you have often suggested. The current crisis is an opportunity and a challenge for you to clean up the financial institutions and set clear and strict guidelines to have a transparent Banking System so that in future everyone knows what is going on. Only time will tell if a policy is successful or not, but a leader has to act after a policy has been debated and formulated within the confines of the Prime Minster's Cabinet.  In a crisis situation, all the government ministers must be united in projecting the policies of the Prime Minister, otherwise there will be a confusion in the market with negative results.

Your Excellency, most respectfully I appeal to you to please take the initiative to have a meeting with Dr. Anwar, pardon him, set him free, and come to some understanding so that there is unity of purpose between the "teacher and the student."  Please remember that there was a time when a young  Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad had a strong difference of opinion with his elders in UMNO, and now,  a younger Dr. Anwar dares to say that his views to solve the current economic problems of Malaysia are better than yours. "Blessed be the youth, for their energy and determination. Where others flinch, rash youth will dare."  Dr. Anwar Ibrahim should know that his time will also come, however,  he must be reminded that "Time is always in favor of those who have Faith, live clean and pure lives, and know how to wait, in patience and constancy."  We, the Muslims of north America, hope and pray that Allah will give Dr. Mahathir and Dr. Anwar enough strength, courage and wisdom to say and do the right things by burying their differences and joining together for the benefit of all Malaysians. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes because to err is human. I remember a couplet form the poetry of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor of India, that he wrote in his captivity in Rangoon, Burma. A translation of the couplet states  " when we are not aware of our own condition, we continue to see faults and qualities in others; but when our eyes focus on our own misdeeds, then nobody remains bad in our eyes." Your Excellency, all the Muslim leaders of the  world admire you and your leadership, and they are watching how you handle this difficult political crisis in Malaysia. Please don't disappoint them. I hope the Malaysian leaders will forgive each other and set the right example for the Muslim world. Thanks  and  warm  regards. 




M. Khaliq Qureshi,
1317 Shamrock Lane,
Plano, Texas 75093, U. S. A.
Res. Tel: (972)380-5106.

Copy : 
1. Dr. Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia      
2. Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi and Dr. Sayyid Syeed - Islamic Society of North America
3. Dr.  Ali A. Mazuri - State University of New York at Binghamton
4. Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr - George Washington University,
5. Dr. Muhammad Kamal Hassan - Georgetown University, Washington



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